Saturday, April 30, 2011

LuLu's special...

Yummy! The steaks looked juicy and lean - but Caroline was having none of it! They look too cute to eat!

Royal Wedding at Abu Dhabi Golf Club

We were invited to joins some friends at the ADGC for a champagne brunch to celebrate the royal wedding. It was nice to watch this most British of spectacles, which I guess couldn't really be rivaled anywhere else in the world. I quite enjoy the pomp and circumstance of it all and makes me proud to be British - and particularly English. I know there are republican minded people in the UK who think it is a load of nonsense, and to an extent they are right, but that's what I love about it! I think with this and the Olympics next year, maybe things will be looking up for the UK at last....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Auto music...

Here's a pair of gadgets I don't have, that we spotted in a store front in Dubai Mall....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Poor Milo ......

Milo today said goodbye to his testicles, before they had really had a chance to get acquainted! Now he is looking very sorry for himself, which I can totally understand. Poor Milo...

Video of Abu Dhabi

This is awesome, take a look in fullscreen with sound on......

Abu Dhabi - 2011 (ver #3 FINAL) from Beno Saradzic on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Abu Dhabi Big Band gig tonight...

Tonight we have a gig at the British Embassy to celebrate the Queen's birthday. Happy Birthday Liz!

Here's a video clip a friend of the band made at our gig at the One-to-One Village.

Abu Dhabi Big Band 2010 from Jeehyun Kwon on Vimeo.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Trip to Musandum

We took a trip at the weekend to Musandum. Musandum is right at the northernmost tip of the Arabian peninsular and belongs to Oman (see the map below).

Unfortunately it was a very long drive in a bus from Abu Dhabi, via Dubai to Dibba, where we met the boat. It took us about 4 and a half hours to get there on a pretty cramped bus. At Dibba we crossed into Oman. The border control was almost non-existant with passport control consisting of waving our passports or ID cards in the air while the guy stood at the door to the bus and let us through. Mind you, I can remember doing the same on a day trip to France with school when I was a kid.

The boat we boarded was a traditional looking Dhow. We went to the upper deck and made ourselves comfortable on the sunbeds. Mind you the weather was a bit variable, a few spots of rain, lots of strong winds and also some sunshine. I guess I was a little disappointed with the boat trip, we just went round the coast a bit and anchored up while we went swimming, some went to the beach, and we had lunch. I know some people that have done overnight trips that have gone further into the waterway and also there is another point at which trips leave that also provides some better views. However, it was pleasant enough, but would have been more enjoyable if we had driven to Dibba rather than endured the bus.

However, the bus did provide the most exciting moment of the day when there was nearly a punch up between some young Arab guys and an Indian family over the return seating arrangement! Basically, we had taken up the back seat on the way, but when we got on the bus to return, 2 Arab couples had taken our places. No problem, we thought, we just sat down in some other seats. However, when the Indian family came onto the bus they were particularly distressed that they couldn't sit together on their original seats. The ringleader, who I am sure had some deep seated inferiority complex, felt the need to raise his voice and declare to the rest of the family members that they should get off the bus and not get back on, the driver should "manage the seats" or they should get them another bus. Oh boy...what an idiot. He clearly felt he was entitled to "his" seats for the return journey. Then his wife started joining in. They started clearly suggesting that we (the other members of the group) had "stolen" their seats. The Arab guys then got off the bus and started to have their say. This then escalated until an Omani police guy who happened to be on hand, was called to separate them. Eventually everyone got on the bus. Only for it kick off again between the Indian ringleader and the Arab ringleader! Lots of pushing and shoving and insults - the classic of which was from the Arab guy who said "I will shove my d*ck in your mouth!" - charming.

This could all have been avoided if the Indian guy's attitude had been different to start with, had he nicely asked if it were possible for us to move so his family could be together, I'm sure people would have moved. But his aggressive, ignorant attitude completely worked against him. However he did provide the best entertainment of the day. I am reminded of the quote from Zig Ziglar -
 "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude"

Here's some pictures and video from the day....

My best dive of the day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From today's BBC front page

This piece was highlighted on the BBC front page today.

I'm afraid they are incorrect about Abu Dhabi having the tallest flagpole though...that dubious distinction belongs to North Korea. It will soon however be beaten by one of those Weirdostan countries nobody has heard of - although it will be manufactured by a company in Dubai. This company has built many of the tallest flagpoles, but has vowed that due to the demand in flag-pole-one-up-man-ship and the physics of just how high they can go, they are protecting their future business by only producing poles in 1 metre increments in the future!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Milo in the desert

We decided to give Milo the chance to return to his genetic roots and take him to the desert. It would be our first time letting him off his lead to run free, so it was a bit nerve racking, not knowing whether he would come back! We had taken some advice and let him know that we had food before we let him off - and sure enough he came back! He did actually seem to love being free and enjoyed the sand beneath his paws.

We drove to an "Endurance Village" in the desert, where the locals enjoy their favourite pastimes of falconry, horse/camel riding, desert driving etc. We could easily access this area in my car without a 4x4. We passed loads and loads of camels on their way back from the camel race track nearby.

One find Caroline made in the desert was this falcon head cover they use. I guess the owner must have replaced it and left the old one in the sand.

Here's a video sequence I put together showing Milo's first time in the desert...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Will they never learn?!

Another major pile up on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway this morning in fog, involving c.70 cars {UPDATE - now confirmed 127 cars !}. 55 people injured and 2 dead. Basically people driving too fast, too close in poor visibility. Idiots.

This paragraph is interesting:-

Of the 52 injured people admitted at Al Rahba, 16 are Emiratis, 5 Pakistanis and Indians each, 4 Egyptians, 3 Omanis, 2 Bangladeshis, 2 Jordanians, while one each from Sudan, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
What, no westerners? What a shock. When will these people learn to drive sensibly!

This is a report of a pile up in the same area in 2008...